MADISON, NJ – The stage is set for a spirited election, as Democrats Astri Baillie and Benjamin Wolkowitz pair off against Republicans John F. Hoover and Carmen Pico. Pico steps in to replace Republican Don Links, who has decided for health reasons not to run for second term.
Pico, who lives on North Street, graduated from Madison High School in 1968 and is a substitute bus driver for the Madison schools. He was assistant maintenance engineer for Chemical Home Centers and attended County College of Morris in Randolph Township. He has been a Little League umpire for 43 years. While living in Randolph, he served on the Board of Education and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He was also a volunteer fireman.
Also running on the Republican ticket is John F. Hoover of Overhill Drive. He is President of the Board of Health and has served on the Madison Rotary Club, Madison High School Interact Club, Bridges Outreach and the Senior Centers program for the Morris County Family Services Agency. Wolkowitz has also been active with Morris Habitat and Raptors Trust. The candidate has lived in Madison for 12 years, moving here to be near his son John T. and daughter-in-law Sue and his three grandchildren. His son Kevin and daughter Lynn Galyas both reside in Staten Island with their families.
Baillie of East Lane is a life-long Madison resident. She has spent 24 years in municipal government: 14 years on the Zoning Board and nine years on council, from 2002 through 2010. In addition, she has served on the Environmental Commission, the Planning Board and was active in such major issues as Gateway II and the Realogy complex. She has instrumental in preserving the downtown, such as working on a height ordinance and revitalizing the commercial area.
Wolkowitz of Dellwood Drive has lived in Madison since 1993 with wife Lois and children Rachel and Jacob. His volunteer commitments include the Y Annual Capital Campaign, Ten Towns Committee, Board Chairman of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, a feasibility study for solar power in Madison, Rotary Club in its project of gardens for the Senior Citizen Housing and helping to maintain the Madison Library grounds.
Wolkowitz has said he is concerned about the budget process, dealing both with financial pressures and keeping services at a high level.
In business, he has worked with Madison Financial Technology Partners and was formerly managing director of Morgan Stanley. Before that, he was a vice president with Citibank. Wolkowitz has been an assistant professor of economics at Tulane University and the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. He graduated cum laude from City University of new York and received a PhD in economics from Brown University, with a Woodrow Wilson dissertation scholarship.
Running for the Madison Board of Education are incumbents Lisa Ellis (president), Kevin Blair and Linda Gilbert for an unexpired term. Brenda Catalanello is also a board candidate. School districts have had the option of their names appearing during the general election in November. The Madison School District decided to do that under the auspices of Morris County Board of Education.